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TRSA Holds Summit for HR Professionals

TRSA recently hosted its first-ever Workforce Management Summit for human resources professionals within the commercial laundry industry. The summit was held in concert with TRSA’s Sixth Annual Safety Summit, which took place the following day in Chicago.

The April 18 meeting at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Downtown Magnificent Mile kicked off with keynote speaker Valerie M. Grubb, president, Val Grubb & Associates Ltd., an HR consulting firm based in New Orleans. Grubb shared how to make yourself more valuable as an HR professional by focusing your efforts on building and supporting the company’s bottom line. According to Grubb, an HR department with a strategic focus has the following three traits:

  • Aligns the workforce strategy with the business strategy
  • Aids in increasing revenue and cost containment
  • Partners with senior leaders for future success

Grubb said that the following are ways to make impacting revenue an HR goal:

  • Needs to be a part of every HR function’s execution plan, including performance evaluations
  • Reinforce financial impact by adding revenue generation to the HR reward and metric structure
  • Focus and concentrate your current HR budget and your best HR professionals on the business units, jobs and employees that have the most impact on increasing revenue
  • Get the red tape out of your organization

Following Grubb’s presentation, labor attorney Joe Shelton, a partner at Fisher & Phillips LLC, Atlanta, took summit attendees through a mock trial for a case titled Myra Creighton v. GEAR Enterprises LLC. The wrongful termination lawsuit brought by Creighton involved age discrimination, family medical leave act (FMLA), and wage and hour claims by the defendant against her former employer GEAR Enterprises LLC. Shelton’s interactive presentation featured several video clips of the termination meeting, meetings with attorneys and the trial itself. Following the clips, Shelton solicited feedback from those in the audience.

The Workforce Management Summit featured four breakout sessions on hot topics of interest to human resources professionals. These included:

  • FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) White Collar Exemptions
  • Using Pre-Employment Testing to Aid Hiring
  • EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) Employment Law
  • Future HR Trends

The event concluded with a panel discussion of HR professionals that included Carmen Berrelleza, senior human resources manager, Prudential Overall Supply; Grubb; Martha Ramirez, central division director, Society for Human Resources Management; Shelton; and Brenda Stauffer, director of human resources, Balfurd Linen Service. The panel was moderated by Kelly Saliba, vice president of human resources, Economy Linen & Towel Service Inc. The following topics were discussed during the panel presentation:

  • Millennials in the workforce
  • Flexible schedules
  • Medical marijuana laws and how they affect workplace policies in those states
  • Incentive programs to control worker’s comp costs
  • Hiring and retaining employees
  • Exit interviews
  • Adapting to change in the industry and the workforce in general